Julian’s review published on Letterboxd:
Finally, another 10/10!
The opening to Mother is mesmerizing. It serves as a tone-setting prelude for the audiovisual masterpiece that is to come. The music is beautiful and so is the way the landscape is captured. The choreography is very fascinating and gracefully performed by the magnificent Kim Hye-Ja. So elegant and carefree. It might be one of my favorite openings ever. This is my first film by Bong Joon-Ho, but within the first 3 minutes I knew he'd be a force to be reckoned with, holy shit.
The framing is absolutely outstanding. Frames range from looking like a confined space, to looking ultra wide; all that, while maintaining the same aspect ratio. Every shot features so much detail that actually adds to the story. There's been so much intelligent choices made in terms of detail.
The screenplay is very profound, interesting and has a lot of great twists, while the dialogue has quite some lines that evoke strong emotions.
The sound design is among the best I've witnessed. The sounds, among many other things, build so much tension.
Kim Hye-Ja is perfect. The scream her character lets out after her son tells her he remembers his past is fucking painful. She starts off perfectly, but somehow seems to get better with every scene she's in. Each single emotion her character goes through feels so painful and real. She delivers one of the best performances I've ever seen. Her character is extremely complex, well-written, doesn't feel artifical/written and is such a fucking badass.
Mother is not just a crime-drama, instead it features elements from a whole lot of genres and focuses on the story, rather than trying to stay inside the borders of one genre.
I love how Bong puts very subtle and occasional comedy in this. It's refreshing, and doesn't ever get tiring or annoying.
I'm so excited for Parasite.